Sūrah al-Ḥajj was revealed in Medina and consists of 78 verses.
This chapter addresses the polytheists about the fundamental beliefs of religion with a tone of warning and threat, much like the chapters that were revealed before the Prophet’s migration. It can be inferred from the context that it was revealed when the polytheists still had some power and force. The chapter also addresses the believers about things like prayer, the rituals of hajj, doing good, and permission to wage war. It can be inferred from these verses that the believers had just established their community, were now standing on their feet, and had some men, weapons and fighting prowess.
This suggests that the chapter was revealed in Medina between the Prophet’s migration and the Battle of Badr. Its aim is to explain the fundamental beliefs of Islam in a way that would benefit both the believers and the non-believers, and the religious practices concisely for the believers. The details of Islamic rulings were not yet prescribed at the time, except for some such as the prayer and the hajj, as seen in this chapter.
The chapter starts by describing the Day of Resurrection and its preceding earthquake which will destroy the earth and bring down the mountains. This is in line with the two main goals of the chapter:
- to call the polytheists to the fundamental beliefs of Islam through warning them; and
- to call the believers to religious practices in general by enjoining them to fear God and be conscious of Him.